from Pantperthog to Knockando

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Legoland

“You’ve never been to Legoland?” was Rowena’s incredulous question yesterday. Well, today I have and, apart from the many screaming grizzly children, it was well worth the visit. I particularly loved Miniland, with its scaled down version of London’s skyscrapers (and Caerphilly Castle too!), and I also spent a few quid in the Lego pic’n’mix shop.

We didn’t have to travel too far from Viv’s family home in Haddenham where we were staying for a long weekend. The weather was fantastic considering it’s October. It was even a bit too hot when we sat in the sun to watch the (fairly lame) Johnny Thunder stunt show, and I had to strip off down to my T-shirt. Plus, they had a Cinnabon – the only one in the UK! Mmm, cinnamon doughnut fingers…

I must admit though, I didn’t think that much of the actual Lego shops. The clearance outlet was especially disappointing; and the regular shops were charging top-of-the-range prices, but, bizarrely, didn’t seem to have the full range of product. Perhaps I know my Lego too well to be bowled over. The only kit I hadn’t seen before was the Death Star II set, which weighed an absolute ton and was apparently the size of a small child when assembled.

Legoland is very much a kid’s day out kind of place, and we got some odd looks as four adults going on the rides. Next time I’ll have to borrow some kids so I don’t look quite so weird. The other thing I noticed, and perhaps it’s because it’s the end of season, but a number of the external Lego models looked like they needed a good clean. There was a certain aura of tattiness around some parts of the park, which surprised me considering this is one of Lego’s flagship investments. However, the modelmakers centre and hall of fame was classily laid out, and I could have happily spent a good few hours more in there.

I know as a ‘very mature’ 30-year old, perhaps I’m not the demographic they’re aiming for. But as Cathy said, it would have been nice to have a few more historical exhibits. I would have loved to see some of the sets I remember so well from when I was a kid, like the Technic Arctic Explorers series, or the space base from the 80s that I adored.

Whether the next generation of kids will ever get nostalgic for Lego Spongebob Squarepants (I kid thee not!) only time will tell!

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